Remembering Max

My online journal has been dormant and I cannot move on until I tell you why.

A shocking and tragic event occurred in our family when a young nephew died suddenly from a cardiac seizure.  He was a fit, larger-than-life, talented rugby player……… and only 29.  He lived in Mere and worked at Guys Marsh prison.  He was quite simply a lovely human being, loved and admired by all who knew him.  His life was celebrated at a memorial last Friday after a short cremation attended by family.  Five hundred people packed the church in Gillingham to honour Max and afterwards most of those packed the North Dorset Rugby Clubhouse to stay together on such a sad day.

Max’s legacy is already starting to permeate the lives of those who mourn him.  And the oft-reviled Facebook arena has played a very significant part since the hours after Max’s death became known.  Hundreds of his friends posted messages and through this have been brought together.  Not least members of Max family, notably his cousins, have found new ‘friends’ and ways of sharing their memories of Max, and there will, inevitably, be new ‘real’ friendships amongst these which will endure.  Social networking makes it easier to stay in touch.  It may not be as rewarding as meeting up to share a drink and a chat, but it keeps those connections alive all the same.

Many eloquent words of mourning and tribute have been written, and were spoken, at Max’s memorial.  I am proud that my younger son Dan, for whom Max was very much a kindred spirit, delivered his eulogy that was worthy of his cousin.  There is an embryonic film script that Max had been nurturing which is to form the basis of a project in Max’s name.  And my daughter Charlotte, whose blog ‘chez perryman‘ is linked to mine, posted her thoughts from South Africa.  Her final paragraph speaks to us all.

She has a strong sense of family, and as such, we all crossed the Channel ten years ago to view the Eclipse from the north Cotentin coast.  We rented 3 gites and had a great week together.  On ‘the day’, we lined ourselves up against the low seawall to wait for the moment.  My father, who sat in a chair on the quay above, is no longer with us.  He died at the age of 85.  We could not possibly have imagined that another of our throng would leave us at such a young age.  It is the greatest blessing that we are not privy to what our futures might hold.  It behoves us to make sure that each day that we live counts.

There’s Max, at the heart of the family, sitting next to me.

(It’s grainy because it is the only copy I have to hand)

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5 thoughts on “Remembering Max

  1. A lovely tribute, Jan. That holiday – my first as an honorary member of the Light family – was such a wonderful introduction to you all. At the time, I was bowled over by the closeness of all the cousins – many of us don’t even know our cousins but here was such a big clan, still holidaying and enjoying each other’s company well into their late teens and early 20s.

    That sense of family, the importance you all place on being connected and on enjoying each other’s company, was so apparent when we said goodbye to Max last weekend. I felt privileged to be a part of it all.

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